A crisp image of white cherry blossoms in the foreground, with the American flag waving gently in the background under a clear blue sky, symbolizing peace amidst the complexities of United States military divorce.

How Can I Get a Divorce as a Member of the United States Military?

Many couples find themselves in situations of divorce, including those who serve in the United States military and their spouses. While this can prove to be a difficult time for any couple, the process can be even more complicated for members of the military than it is for civilians. This is why it is very important to retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney to navigate the process.  

How Do I Get a Divorce as a Service Member?

In order to begin a civilian divorce, spouses are required to fulfill a residency requirement. While this is fairly simple for civilian spouses to meet, it can be much harder for a service member. This is because they are constantly moving locations and residencies for work. Due to this, the court allows spouses of service members to file for divorce in three ways:

  • The state where the couple has legal residency
  • The state where the military member is stationed
  • The state where the military member claims legal residency

Can Military Members Be Served Divorce Papers?

Most military bases appoint an individual to act as a law enforcement officer, allowing them to handle any legal matters that occur on the base. This can include the serving of divorce papers to a service member. In these situations, it is crucial to understand that service members are not necessarily required to accept the serve. They have the right to request a “stay” on the divorce, prolonging the process. However, this does not prevent it entirely. Instead, it puts the process on hold until the service member can return from their duties.

Are Military Divorces Subject to Default Judgment?

During a civilian divorce, both spouses must attend several meetings and court hearings in order for the process to be completed. If a spouse does not show up for these appearances, it can result in a default judgment. This is a dissolution of the marriage. As military members often cannot attend all these dates, military divorces are not subject to default judgment. It is because of this that military spouses may not complete the process of their divorce until both parties are present or if the service member has legal representation to act on their behalf.

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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